CalTPA's inequitable requirement hurts student-teachers

Victory
This petition made change with 113 supporters!
Samantha Evans started this petition to Governor Gavin Newsom and

We are student-teachers for the 2020-2021 year. Currently, we are being stopped from completing our CalTPA's - a mandatory exam in our teaching induction - because of an inequitable requirement. 

We have written a letter to the California Commission On Teachers' Credentialing to ask for an alternative to meet this need, and would like your support to have this issue discussed.

We have copied the letter below. 

Please share this with your networks! 

____________________________________________________________

We are writing to you, the California Commission on Teachers Credentialing to bring up an issue.

We have been told by our University supervisors that in order to submit for the CalTPA this semester that we are required to have at least three students showing their cameras throughout the entire session. After observing as a student teacher for at least the past eight weeks, we do not think this is a realistic possibility for us and would like to discuss alternatives to meeting this need. 

Below we have documented our four main challenges as to why this stipulation is not feasible: 

  • Some of our districts have clearly stated that it is wrong to force students to have their cameras due to equity reasons. In most of our classes, 100% of the students do not have their cameras on. While we have had one or two students put their cameras on, none have done it for the entire class period.  Not only do we feel it is wrong, but we are going against school district policies if we try to use extra credit or emotional manipulation to get students to turn their cameras.
  • Many students are experiencing significant social anxiety right now. We have personally heard stories of students having anxiety attacks after being on camera for fear of what their peers are saying about them. We have also heard stories of students taking screenshots while others had their cameras on and mocking them on social media. For the wellness of our students, we don't feel it is right to pressure them to turn their cameras on
  • In our cohort, it is primarily the student-teachers working in Tier 1 schools that are having the biggest challenge with turning cameras on. We know our students are living in multi-family households with multiple children using the wifi to attend class. We know they might not have their own bedroom and thus things are going on behind them. This is not equitable. 
  • We are also concerned about tech issues. We have almost daily tech problems. One of the main reasons we don't have screens on is because most of our students don't have the bandwidth to maintain cameras.

 For our students, but also for ourselves, we hope that there must be some way that we can complete our CalTPA while respecting the needs of our students and communities. The three-cameras-on policy is preventing a significant number of us from completing our CalTPA, and thus, we will have to do it in our first year of teaching. Adding the burden of CalTPA in our first few years teaching feels unnecessary, given that we are in this challenging situation and more than happy to write an additional essay, provide more documentation, or other information to prove that our students are engaged in our class.  

We would also like to know how this will affect our induction process, and what additional support we will be offered to us to ensure a smooth transition into teaching life both as first-year teachers and working in-person. 

Yours sincerely,

Student California Teachers Association Tomorrow's Teachers at Cal State Channel Islands

and

Giselle Alvarez, Hueneme High School, Oxnard Unified High School District

Anna Clause, E. O. Green junior High School, Hueneme Elementary School District

Megan Hernandez, Foothill Technology High School, Ventura Unified School District

Samantha Evans, Pacifica High School, Oxnard Unified High School District

Jacqueline Kim, Channel Islands High School, Oxnard Unified High School District

Sarah Gay, Foothill Technology High School, Ventura Unified School District

Josefina Valdez, Rio Mesa High School, Oxnard Unified High School District

Lucy Campos, Matilija Middle School, Ojai Unified School District

Tanya Lomeli, Nordhoff High School, Ojai Unified School District

Victory

This petition made change with 113 supporters!

Share this petition